Read Luke 12:49-56 with your family.
The scripture we read today sounds a bit scary: fire, baptism, fighting… Everything we tell children about Jesus is about love and acceptance, so when adults read passages in the Gospels that don’t show a happy, loving Jesus, they often point somewhere else thinking children can’t handle unhappy thoughts. However, children can handle them, and scriptures like this give us an opportunity for children to speak up when their lives are unhappy because they see that Jesus was sometimes angry and upset too.
This scripture is not a prediction of the future, it was a statement of what was going on in some parts of the early church at the time. Some families were very upset when their children or other family members decided to follow Jesus. Sometimes they were scared for the new believers because a lot of people could be angry at Jesus and his teachings. They wanted an easy life for the ones they loved, and following Jesus was never easy. Sometimes families were upset because the new believers spent more time with other Jesus followers and less time with their families. They were missed.
The thing is following Jesus sometimes does separate us from friends and family. Jesus taught us to work for social change, and a lot of times people don’t want change… they want to be comfortable just as they are. Jesus called us to be different, to work towards everyone having enough and feeling loved. You would think that everyone could agree, but that’s just not how people work.
Jesus says in the scripture that he has a lot to do before he can relax and see that people are doing the work of God. So we have to keep doing what we believe is God’s purpose for us, even if it upsets those around us. Jesus’ family was upset by him too, but he kept going.